Uncommon knowledge: Health assessment data provides accurate and unique take on employee health uri icon


  • The health management industry is growing rapidly, and many factors—such as technology, the increased use of social media and health care reform—are driving innovations in helping participants to improve their health. In the midst of all this change, however, the health assessment continues to be an essential and valuable component of a best-practice workplace health management strategy. Here’s why. The health assessment provides a wealth of data cost-effectively that can be used to tailor the wellness experience to each individual. This includes the participant’s personal health portal, where health assessment data can be used to align content, tools and guidance with the individual’s health risks, health conditions and readiness to change. Individuals can be triaged into program components that are best suited to improving their health based on their risks, conditions, self-efficacy, barriers to change and other relevant data collected in the health assessment. Except for health conditions, none of this data is available from other sources. Even in the case of health conditions, self-reported data from the health assessment sometimes is more timely than claims data and allows for immediate follow-up and engagement in health-promoting programs. In effect, use of the health assessment creates a teachable moment that is highly conducive to engaging individuals in health improvement programs. Because of this ability to personalize programs to meet the needs of each individual, research has demonstrated a positive impact on population health and financial outcomes for well-designed programs that incorporate a health assessment with relevant and valued follow-up. In addition, research suggests positive health and financial outcomes for those who participate in a health assessment as their entry into a workplace program, while these positive outcomes are often not realized for employees who participate solely in self-selected program elements. For these reasons, experts consider the health assessment to be an essential component of a best-practice population health management strategy.

publication date

  • 2011